Bobby Carpenter is living a dream. As the son of former Giants fullback Rob Carpenter, he has followed the career of Cowboys coach Bill Parcells all of his life. For years he had poster of Parcells in his room, hoping that one day he would get to play for the man who had such a huge influence on his father's life and by connection his.
Although he was still in high school and nowhere close to NFL ready, Carpenter's heart sagged when Parcells retired from the Jets in 1999.
Parcells would come out of retirement to join the Cowboys in 2003. And as fate would have it, Carpenter developed into a NFL caliber player at Ohio State.
Destiny occurred in the first round of NFL Draft when the Cowboys selected Carpenter with the 18th overall pick.
"I’ve been a huge Parcells fan my whole life, mostly when he was with the Giants and with New England and the Jets," Carpener said. "I’ve always dreamed of playing for him. When he retired, I thought I’d never get a chance to play.”
The Cowboys chose him because he was the most ready of the prospects available.
But what would you expect from a player who has been groomed in the Parcells way from infancy?
Carpenter wasn't pushed toward football by his dad, but he was rooted in the teachings of teamwork, hard work, dedication and being a student of the game.
He will be the first to tell you that he didn't get here because of his status as an NFL legacy. He got here because of a willingness and desire to go above and beyond the call of duty to do whatever it takes to achieve his goals.
Already armed with the proper attitude, the football part will take care of itself for Carpenter, who at 6-feet-3, 255 pounds will make an immediate impact at outside linebacker for the Cowboys.
In the end, it's a dream come true for Carpenter and Parcells, and don't forget about owner Jerry Jones.
"He's got a great background through osmosis with his dad having played in the NFL," Jones said. "He's got competitive qualities. He practices hard – plays hard.
"We wanted to get the best player we could for the future, but we also wanted a player that, in his way, could be a future leader on the team that has already had success."